Tag Archives: Georgia Signs

Hahira, Georgia

No one knows exactly where Hahira [pronounced hay-HI-ra] got its name, but it was incorporated in 1891. One source states that it was named for a plantation, which the owner named for Hairaairee, a village in West Africa. No such place name can be found in Africa today, but it is very close to Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, actually located in eastern Africa. Another legend maintains Hahira derived its unusual name from Hahiroth, a biblical place name.

Whatever its origin, the small city at the northern end of Lowndes County is growing, along with the rest of the county. New housing developments are popping up everywhere.

Shotgun House & Billboard, Tifton

Summer 2008

I’m excited to be able to share this photograph, as it was one of my earliest, and I thought it was long lost. It’s a real favorite of mine.

The house was located in one of Tifton’s older African-American neighborhoods, right on the edge of the northbound lane of I-75. It’s probably gone by now.

Merry Christmas from Vanishing Georgia

Christmas Sign, Tift County, 2013

As always, I’m most thankful for another year of discovery and for all of your support. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season.

Cedar Grove Opry Sign, Laurens County

This big red plastic boot served as the sign for the Cedar Grove Opry, a community gathering place located in the old Cedar Grove School. I’m not sure if the opry is still a thing, but the sign is already a landmark.

Landmark Lodge No. 64, Dublin

This is a Prince Hall lodge. Other affiliations include: Tri-County Chapter No. 8 of the Royal Arch Masons, and Fidelity Chapter No. 45 of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Dudley’s Retreat, 1940s, Dublin

This structure was built to house the growing food business of the Dudley family when Dudley Funeral Home became the sole occupant of the nearby C. D. Dudley & Sons General Merchandise building. Herbert (Hub) and Mayme Ford Dudley were already leaders of the black community of Dublin and their Retreat Cafe became a community center. Well-known entertainers, including Little Richard, James Brown, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe all visited here while traveling through Dublin. I met a nice lady while I was photographing the property who remembered Mrs. Mayme Dudley quite well.

Original neon “EAT” sign, dating to World War II

During World War II, Mr. Dudley operated a USO in this building for Black servicemen. The structure remains sound today but was listed as a 2023 Place in Peril by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation because it has been in disuse for many years.

Big Chief, Indian Springs

This is a convenience store in Indian Springs, and the name is typical of tourist-driven locales with a history of Indian presence. For better or worse, Native American icons and symbols have been appropriated by myriad enterprises since the earliest days of European settlement in North America. They are also a prominent source for place names.

Keys Grocery Sign, Putnam County

Old stores like Key’s Grocery were rural landmarks. A Coca-Cola sign was a sure way to attract customers.

Life is Better on Bluff Time, Shellman Bluff

This sign, across from Hunter’s Cafe, sums up the mood around Shellman Bluff; no hurries and no worries. The words change from time to time, but the message really doesn’t. It overlooks the idyllic Julienton River, a tributary of the Sapelo River.

Jay’s Department Store, Commerce

Commerce Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places